Hello all! How is everyone doing?
I am sorry I wont be able to reply to all your comments individually this time.....but know that I have read each comment at least twice.......thank you so much! They mean a lot.
Onto the next part....there is a note at the end of this chapter and i want your feedback on it.....
This chapter belongs to Sid and it wasnt meant to be so long. But Sid is one character that makes you want to go on writing about him
...plus this one was a little difficult to write....I wanted to detail every little thing and that took a long time.
I will stop my rambling now........
Aadat hai Woh
Images raced in a colorful blur in front of him but he was too preoccupied to notice.
He had been sitting in front of the television since two hours but he didnt remember a single thing he had watched.
His mind was in a very strange daze.
It had been four days since she had left.........only four days.
The first three days had gone normally.......he didnt feel anything out of the usual.
But when the evening of the fourth day rolled on, a certain restless had begun inside him.
He couldnt understand what was troubling him....he couldnt pinpoint what it was, but something was not right.
He had buried himself in his work the next day .....
But it didnt help......that weird feeling simply seemed to increase even more.
He had been passing her office when he realized what it was.
He had stopped and peered into the room..
The door was locked and the lights were switched off.
So that's what it was.
He was missing her........he was missing Shilpa.
But that was so strange.
He knew she would be back in a couple of days.....and she was gone for a good cause.
So then why did the days ahead seem like long weeks to him?
She had always been near him. Even when he didnt need anyone, he had always found her within his reach.She was the first person he saw every day.
He would pick her up in the morning everyday while going to the hospital.
They always had breakfast together and if they didnt have any duties, they would have lunch together.
He had gotten so used to her always being around him that her absence was making him restless.
Getting up from the couch, he switched off the television and glanced around.
When he had first got this house, he had planned to leave it as bare as possible.
Aside from a couch and a television , he hadnt really added anything to it.....he hadnt even planned to.
Shilpa had often asked him why he had got himself such a huge house."Its a beautiful house Sid, but its so huge....too many rooms, too much space.....doesnt the silence bother you?"
He had explained to her that small, cozy spaces unnerved him. They reminded him of his old penthouse where he had built many dreams about his future......he had been so attached to every corner of that house.
Selling that place was the hardest thing he had ever had to do......
She had shook her head at him. "I understand Sid.........but I am still going to say it...this house is too huge! And too beautiful to leave it so bare."
He shook his head as he remembered how she had dragged him to various interior and furniture stores, making him choose everything ranging from decorative items to paint colors to wallpapers to curtains to furniture.
He had to admit though that every corner of this house had been painstakingly set up by her.
The thought brought a small smile over his face.
----------------------------------------------------The next day.............
He stood in front of his closet holding a phone to his ear.
"Do I have to go Maa?"
"Yes, yes you have to Siddhant", came his mother's slightly shrill voice over the phone, "No excuses this time.....you got away because of Shilpa last time. But you cant escape today....."
"Maa......dont you love me?", he said hoping emotional blackmail would do the trick.
"Yes I do....which is why I am forcing you for this............please Sid? Its difficult for me to watch my only son like this...."
He sighed...........he had had this conversation so many times. And he always agreed only because that desperate tone in his mother's voice always got to him.
"Fine Maa. I will go."
"That's what I wanted to hear Sid beta! ", there was so much excitement in her voice, " And can you please , for a change, attempt to like the girl today?"
Since two years, his mother had been setting up blind dates for him hoping that one day he would come to her and say that yes he was ready to get married.
He wondered how his mother managed to arrange all this sitting far away in Houston.
He couldnt tell his mother that her son would never get married again........and so he indulged these little requests from her with little complaint.
He never allowed anything to proceed further than one date.
Many times he had even escaped going with Shilpa's help.But not today............
He shuffled through his shirts lazily, completely disinterested in what he was going to wear. Picking a black one , he turned around.He held up a black shirt in front of Shilpa who sitting on his bed playing with his cell phone.
"Oh no Sid ! I am not going to let you wear black", she got up and hurried towards him," I swear sometimes I think you are obsessed with that colour."
A smirk appearing on his face, Sid stepped back as Shilpa rummaged through his closet that was so big that one could probably get lost.
He could hear Shilpa grumbling inside, "You have so many shirts and yet you could only find a black one."
She finally came out with an indigo shirt in her hand. She held it to his chest, "There! See....this color suits you so much."
He simply took the shirt from her hands, rolling his eyes.
"Really Sid.......you could try and put some effort and interest in these dates....Poor Aunty does so hard work for this."
He raised his brow. "You know very well Shilpa that nothing is going to come out of all this."
"How do you know? What if one day you find an intelligent, attractive woman who just might be the one for you?"
His raised his brow,"Really? Do you think that's possible?", sarcasm had slipped into his tone.
She kept quiet.....she didnt really have anything to say to that.
She simply pursed her lips and went to back to playing with his phone.
Coming back to the present, he looked at the shirt pensively. And then, on a sudden impulse, he put it back and chose a different shirt.
He wasnt doing it to impress anyone.
It was only because he knew that he would persistently keep hearing Shilpa's voice in his head the whole evening, reprimanding him for wearing black.
And so, for the first time ever, Sid got ready for his date with a smile playing on his face.
He had met some really attractive and interesting women on these dates.
But he never lead them on thinking he was interested in them
As a rule, he would inform them in the beginning itself that he had no intentions of marriage.
Surprisingly none of the girls had ever gotten angry with him.......and that was because they were never made to feel that they had wasted their time. They were always ensured a good dinner combined with a pleasant conversation and a surety that they would be dropped back home safely.
Some of them had been so touched by his honesty that they had made sure to remain in touch with him.
Today also he had found a very intelligent woman before him who was a neurosurgeon too.
He had been in the middle of a very engaging conversation about cerebral aneurysms with her.......when suddenly he had been thrown off loop by a tiny, little gesture of her.
While talking, she had raised her hand and tucked her hair behind her ear.
An image came unbidden to him........he was sitting in Shilpa's office while she was working on some files. A few strands of hair kept falling over her eyes making her very irritated.
He simply watched her then with an amused smile as repeatedly kept tucking them behind her ear.
After that point,he had completely lost track of his conversation with Natasha, his date.
He kept nodding here and there randomly to show that he was listening but his mind was in a disoriented state.
At every point and turn, he was thinking about Shilpa.
Everything little thing reminded him of her.Why??
Was it because this was the first time in six years that she was away from him?
---------------------------------------------------------Four days later....
Sid was walking towards his cabin when someone came rushing behind him.
He turned to see Rohit, one of the interns, standing with a worried expression on his face.
"Sir...you need to come with me to the ICU. Mrs Sharma's condition has worsened."
"What? ", Sid started walking towards the ICU, " But how? Till yesterday her condition was improving......', he trailed off.
There were no guarantees when it came to such things.
They reached the ICU and after checking the patient, Sid decided that she needed to be operated on immediately.
"Get these tests done first and show me the reports", he said writing down a few tests on the patient's medication chart.
"Get everything ready for the surgery...I will meet you in an hour."
On his way out, without turning back, he said, "Mr Rohit....you are going to assist me on this one."
Rohit's face paled.An hour later
Sid let the cold waters run over his fingers. It was almost time for the surgery now.
His chest thrummed with apprehension and anticipation as it always did before any surgery.
At times like these, it didn't matter that he had performed many such surgeries before with such skill, expertise and caution that explained why he was the most sought after neurosurgeon.
Every surgery was just as dangerous as the ones he had performed before and like every time, the chances of things going wrong were very much high.
As he wiped his hands, he felt some one tying the strings of surgical gown.
He turned.Shilpa stood there tying his back ties with a serene look on her face.
That serenity always put his anxiety to rest.
"You're late", he noted.
"Too many patients,", she replied, "There are still some waiting but I excused myself for a few minutes."
There was silence for a few seconds. The apprehension within him reduced a little at the sight of her.
"Remember my first surgery Shilpa?"
"I was so sure I would fail that day."
"But you didnt."
"Only because of you."
"No Sid......not because of me. Your inner strength guided you that day...as it always does."
"Maybe......But you reinforced my self confidence that day with your positivity. I had given up on myself....but you didnt."
"That's because you are Siddhant Modi. Who would ever give up on you?"
He shrugged. "By the way, where's my candy?"
Before his first surgery, Shilpa had given him a little candy to alleviate his mood and distract him from his nervousness.
Ever since that day, it had become sort of a custom for them. She would always show up before his surgery and present him with a tiny sweet treat.
She took his hand and placed a lemon-flavored candy on his palm.
He closed his fingers around it and looked up.
He broke out of his memory and found Rohit standing before him.
He opened his hand and looked at his empty palms.
What was happening with him? He had been so engrossed in his memory that he had completely tuned out his surroundings.
It had almost seemed as if she had been right there with him........
Oddly, he felt as if his empty hands were trying to tell something....something important.
"I hope the ties arent tight, Sir?"
He focused back on the situation at hand and took a deep breath.
"They are fine.......lets go."
His mind automatically stopped thinking about everything except his patient and his condition.
He turned and walked into the surgery room with Rohit following behind him.
Taking a sip of of her hot tea, Naina looked around the cafeteria, totally content in her surrounding.
She loved being in this block of Sanjeevani........if only she could be transferred here.
She sighed and was about to tell Yuvi that when her spotted Sid entering the cafe with one of his assistants.
She was about to wave at them to join her and Yuvi but she decided to let it go.
They had come back from a surgery and they seemed engaged in a very serious discussion.
Naina took this opportunity to simply observe him.......
He worked too hard.......all these years he had immersed himself in his work so much that he hardly ever got time for himself.
But today she noticed that even though he looked tired there seemed to a be a restlessness about him.
Even he was listening intently to his intern, there seemed to be a far away look in his eyes.
He had become even quieter since Shilpa had left.............her eyes widened.How come I didnt notice all this before??
Her mind stared going into overdrive again.
Excited, she nudged her husband who nose was buried in a newspaper.
When he didnt respond, she snatched it away.
"Naina, what is it?", Yuvi hissed irritatibly.
Her eyes moved past him and he followed her gaze.
He looked back at her and asked, "Yes that is Sid...so?"
"Dont you think he looks very depressed now that Shilpa's isnt around?"
Yuvi rolled his eyes. "Please dont start that again Naina....I dont know from where you get these absurd ideas in your head."
Naina narrowed her eyes at him.
"How many times have we had conversation?", he continued, "Look I am telling you there is nothing between them."
"Yet...that thing yet."
"This is Sid and Shilpa we are talking about!....you honestly think there is a chance of anything more than friendship between them given who they are and the kind of history they have.They are just good friends Naina...everyone knows that."
"Yes but not everyone knows them as well as we do."
"Exactly", Yuvi said," which is why I am tell you that what you are thinking is not possible."
She angrily gave him back his newspaper. "Please go back to reading that. You are of no help at all."
Yuvi gave her an affectionate smile and got lost in the headlines again.
Naina moved forward in her seat,placing her arms on the table before her.......she felt restless.
Why couldnt Yuvi see what she saw?
Why couldnt he notice the subtle things about Sid and Shilpa that she did?
Sid got up and walked out of the cafeteria.
Watching him go, she could literally feel the loneliness emanating from him.....and he had never seemed like that in Shilpa's presence.Could it be possible.........?
Naina felt anxious.....she knew that if she wanted she could easliy play cupid to make them realize what they were missing.
But she wouldnt do that....rather she couldnt
They were not some typical people for whom she could play cupid.
It is Sid and Shilpa after all...........simple people with extraordinary hearts.
If anything had to happen, it had to come naturally from them.
She couldnt help them right now....only they could help themselves.
She sat back in her seat..........that's all she could do anyway.
Sit back and let fate run its course.
It was around 2.00 am and Sid was sitting in the lounge, drinking coffee.
He took a sip and the scalding hot beverage almost burned his tongue.........but he didnt really feel it.
He stayed back at the hospital today to monitor his patient.
He browsed through a medical journal, trying to not to think about that strange feeling that had taken over him just before his surgery.
He felt someone sit in front of him and moved the magazine to find Yuvi before him.
"I didnt know you had night duty today", Sid greeted him.
"I didnt but Dr. Neeta had to leave for some reason so I opted to stay back."
Just then Yuvi's phone rang and he received the call.
For a few seconds he didnt say anything making Sid wondering why he wasnt talking.
"But Naina...listen to.....but I didnt.....why do you.......but I didnt get time .........let me...... ",Yuvi moved his phone away as the call got disconnected from the other end.
Sid, with an amusement written all over his face, "Please dont tell me you both are fighting again."
"What?! Bro....from which angle did it look like I was fighting with her? She didnt even let me speak!"
"Well ", Sid said, " That is what marriage is all about."
Yuvi simply raised his eyebrows.
"But seriously tell me why do you both fight so much?"
"Because that's something we have always done......in fact it feels weird when we dont."
Sid let out a laugh.
"Honestly speaking though it doesnt bother me...I am just happy to have her in my life again."
Sid knew he was thinking about the time when Naina's father had taken her away to a different city.
"When she was gone I had never imagined even in my dreams that we would be married one day............but now we are and I couldnt be thankful enough.She is the best thing that has ever happened to me."
Sid observed the blissful look on Yuvi's face.......he had witnessed the trials his friends had gone through to be where they were today. While he was happy for them, a part of him....a deeply buried part of him.....couldnt help but feel wistful.
There had been a time when even he had gone through the same bliss, a time when even he had looked so content...........a time when he had someone in his life who had meant the world to him.
Memories.....beautiful yet bitter memories ran through his head of his life with Riddhima.
He closed his eyes trying to stop that train of thought but it didnt.
The smiles he had shared with her, the patience with which he had always waited for her, the the dreams he had built for their future, the darkness that had always shrouded those dreams, that miserable feeling that always plagued him whenever he thought of her...................everything played in his mind like a movie which he couldnt stop .
And then a peculiar thing occurred.
Her image in his mind blurred...... the darkness gave way to a bright light and suddenly Riddhima was replaced by someone else.Shilpa
.............why was he seeing Shilpa in Riddhima's place?
He was suddenly assaulted by flashes of the life he had led with her since all these years...........
His eyes shot open and he sat up straight, his mind racing to understand what he had just seen.
"Sid?" he looked ahead to see Yuvi looking at him. 'Are you alright?"
"I'm sorry Yuvi.....I just...zoned out there...I havent slept since last night."
Yuvi nodded. "So...any news from Shilpa?"
He had to ask me just that, didnt he?, Sid thought.
"I havent really spoken to her Yuvi......she did give me a call when she reached Goa but I havent spoken to her since then."
"Things have been really dull here without her, havent they?"
Sid nodded slowly not knowing what to say in his current state of mind.
Yuvi observed him and he had to admit that his wife is right.
Something definitely seemed off about him..........he looked lost.
"And now she is going to get married in a few months", Yuvi said watching Sid closely, "Shilpa will shift to Canada with Vivek.......It is going to be so weird not to have her around all the time."
As soon as those last words left his mouth, Yuvi saw something spark in Sid's eyes.
After years of seeing those eyes devoid of any emotion, he was shocked to see them come alive.
If he hadnt known Sid so well, Yuvi would not have even noticed anything.
Finally he was beginning to understand what Naina had been saying all along.
The bedroom was shrouded in black, a sliver of moonlight being the only exception to the darkness.
The curtains rustled slowly with the light breeze that was blowing in through the half open window.
He lay still on the bed, eyes wide open, not a wink of sleep in his eyes.Shilpa will shift to Canada with Vivek.It is going to be so weird not to have her around all the time.
The words kept repeating in his head......they wouldnt stop.
And he just couldnt figure out......why.
He had always known that one day Shilpa would shift to Canada after her marriage.
He had known and accepted that.
But what he hadnt realized was how much her absence would affect him.
He had realized only now how deeply she was embedded in his life.
He had habituated himself so much to her presence in his life that now he couldnt imagine a life without her.A life without her..........
She was his anchor and the thought of a life without her brought a long buried feeling to the fore......the same feeling that had haunted him when he had walked away from Riddhima.
The feeling of being submerged in complete darkness.
The feeling of emptiness.
He sat up slowly and ran his fingers through his hair.
He had to stop feeling like this....if he didnt he knew it could create serious trouble for him.
But there was another question that was troubling him.....why had he seen Shilpa in his mind when he had been thinking about Riddhima.
That was a very odd.
Was it because he was missing her too much..............that had to be the only explanation.
But why.....why was her absence affecting him so much?
And how.........how was he ever going to cope with her absence in the future?
Note : I want to go slow with Sid's feelings........he is missing Shilpa and is unable to understand why it is troubling him so much. I hope I havent rushed with his feelings and I hope I was able to convey his confusion properly....need your feedback on this.
Edited by sidsk - 28 February 2011 at 12:10pm